Friday, January 11, 2013


I saw Resonance Ensemble's production of R.U.R. last night, and I have a few thoughts.

First of all, I am definitely opposed to the extermination of the human race by killer robots. In case anyone was wondering, I am definitely NOT in favor of killer robots wiping out humans. That would be bad.

Then why is a play about it so much fun? Karel Capek's 1920 drama about Rossum's Universal Robots still holds its own, even amidst seemingly endless waves of Cybermen, Daleks, Cylons, and other imitators of Capek's original robots.

Resonance Ensemble's production updates the play, using a new adaptation by playwright and sometime sci-fi writer Lee Eric Shackleford. The most noticeable change is a framing device in which Alquist (played by Chris Ceraso) looks back over the robot war, and reports on his inability, as the last remaining human, to make any progress. (The nature of Alquist's research is explained later, and will not be a surprise to anyone who has read the original.)

The play is being performed at the Beckett Theatre on 42nd Street through Groundhog's Day. For more information, check out